On Expired Tea & Annual Goals

by | Jul 17, 2021 | Goals

The other day I visited the office. I never quite thought that being in the office could ever constitute a “visit”, but that’s what it was. We have not been in the office full time Since the first lockdown in February 2020. Around 3pm I reached out for my usual tea  bag – I keep a lovely selection of herbal teas in my drawer, which one should I chose? Turns out all my tea had expired! Oh yes, tea does expire. March 2020, June 2020, December 2020, all came and went and my tea just sat there with no one to enjoy it. This realization came as a flash reminder of the unexpected series of events that shook our realities in 2020. Many of our goals, plans, ambitions for 2020 laid still and abandoned, just like these expired teabags.

Someone told me the other day that they refuse to set any goals for 2021, for fear that they too may be abandoned, just like the ones they had made the year before. Another person told me that they want to keep the exact same goals that they had in 2020, in hope that this time they may succeed. Without taking into account how things have changed or how much they have evolved since last year.  But isn’t this a bit like keeping the expired teabags?

January came and went with many of us refusing to clear away our mental clutter from 2020 and set clear goals for the year (and life!) ahead. We don’t need to wait for the next New Year, the Jewish new year, the Chinese New Year, or any other excuse to sit and plan ahead. Now is just as good a time as ever for having that conversation with ourselves! 

So start by looking back at 2020. Which of your teabags have expired? Go through your goals for the year and assess: which of these goals did you miss and want to get rid of? Get rid of these old goals now, no need to keep them in your mind or back of your head. Good riddance ancient goals! Then think Which of these goals did you miss but would still like to achieve? Revive these goals now, make them specific and refine them.  And most importantly what did you achieve? Any small tiny achievement during 2020 is truly a cause for celebration! Even keeping your usual weight (or your usual spouse & kids) can now be truly celebrated. So take a moment to pad yourself on the back for having made it through the year.

When you are done with de-cluttering it’s time to think of the new goals you’ d set for the year ahead. There are loads of tips out there on how to create good goals. My own formula starts with making them Bold and Audacious. After all what’s the purpose of a goal if it’s not something big that energizes and excites you? This is your VISION. You don’t just want to “be healthy”, you want to “have a strong immune system and feel powerful and energetic every single day”. You don’t really want to “make more money”, you want to “live a life of abundance and infinite wealth”. You don’t really want to “lose weight” You want to “enjoy a healthy body that feels good and fit into that pretty outfit for that event”.

Express all of them in specific, present terms. This is your HOW. Scripts like “Be healthy”, “make more money”, and “lose weight” sound scary and could be overwhelming. They also  invite your mind to pick and challenge these scripts. Instead, you can comfort your mind by explaining what exactly is required and what is the choice you make. So that instead you are “choosing to enjoy a new routine that fills you with energy by walking 30 minutes every morning”, “choosing to increase your income by 20% this year by holding monthly Monday morning calls with your investment advisor and managing my clients pro-actively” and “choosing to feel 3 kgs lighter by nurturing your body with the foods best suited to you”.

Then keep record of the forces that drive these choices. This is your WHY. Our WHY is powerful, it’s personal, and it’s behind every single decision we make. Jot down as many why’s as possible – these will act as a daily reminder of the things that drive you towards your goals. You are setting a health goal “so that you can enjoy a longer, healthier life with your loved ones, you can do more activities with your kids, You can be a good role model to them, you can be more creative during the day, you can relax your mind and re-energize, etc”. You are setting a wealth goal so that you can “support your family towards their own goals, create an impact with your contribution towards a good cause, go to that trip you have been dreaming about during summer, buy that awesome gadget you’ve been eyeing up for so long etc”. I won’t give any examples on weight loss because all I will write about is fitting into awesome outfits 🙂

Like with everything in life, wishing for things is not enough, you need to take action now in order for this to manifest. Start by actually writing the above on a notebook. (Yes that means actually buying a notebook if you don’t own one (!)).  Or on your phone or your laptop. Or even by creating a vision board with images and colors. Writing these down will actually make them feel real to you. They are now tangible, expressed in real words, manifested in ink and paper. You have visualized them, created them, believed in them. Now you just need to take action towards them.

Off to de-clutter my tea drawer now. I am throwing away the ones that seem old and weak. I am keeping the couple of teas that haven’t lost their strength. And replenishing the collection with M&S’s finest.

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